Scott, Graham Secure Critical Port Provisions in Water Resources Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) secured two important provisions supporting South Carolina’s ports as part of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s markup of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

The first provision begins the process of updating and modernizing the benefit-cost analysis used by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the economic benefits and cost apportionment of water resource projects. The current benefit-cost analysis is outdated and inconsistent, and does not properly take into account today’s modern construction and planning methods. Changes to the formula will help lead to more accurate project planning, quicker completion dates, and reduced costs for taxpayers.

A second provision helps to ensure that the federal government fully honors its share of the costs for water resources projects. If a non-federal partner, for example the state of South Carolina, covers the federal costs for a project when federal dollars have not yet been appropriated, there is currently no legal requirement for the federal government to repay the non-federal partner. This provision will require federal reimbursement in these circumstances, thereby bolstering the accountability and reliability of federal cost-share agreements.

“I am excited to secure these two important provisions for South Carolina ports,” Senator Scott said. “We know that on a level playing field, South Carolina will compete, and win, against anyone, and taking steps toward modernizing the BCR is a big win for our state. Both of these provisions will help keep more projects on time and within their budgets.”

“Proud to work with Senator Scott to secure these provisions that credit the State of South Carolina’s critical financial contributions to Port expansion,” Senator Graham said. “South Carolina and the Southeast have much to gain by the passage of these important changes. Tim and I will continue working together see these changes through.”

The America’s Water Infrastructure Act will next head to the full Senate for a vote.